A Call to Arms

In my middle school chorus back in the United States, our conductor chose for us to perform “Make Them Hear You” from the musical Ragtime. Few of us understood its significance at the time, even in the wake of the terrorism we had borne witness to just a few years earlier. Today, for the first time, I fully feel its significance standing on foreign shores.
 
Watching this election was very much akin to watching a Hindenburg-scale disaster burst into gaseous, inflammatory flame-throwing and taking precious lives and their liberties down, unaware of the danger until the last few moments. Watching in horror as something we each harbour respect and love for at some level is reminiscent of that day in middle school so long ago when we all sat and watched the towers go down together.
 
I was led to Scotland through my pride in my heritage. My clan motto, ‘timor omnis abesto’ is of great comfort right now — let fear be far from all.
 
I beseech each of you:
 
Do not run. Do not show that man fear in the face of this international abomination – in the face of a weak man whose only basis for confidence is built upon that fear.
 
With grace and humility, pity those who fell victim to the discourse of hate and fear mongering he spews.
 
Do not divorce those who have been swayed by his violent rhetoric, it is largely a product of our societal failings. It is they we need to fight for – it is they our government has failed. We are limited in learning only by that which we are not exposed to.
 
We cannot turn our backs on those whose lack of education, religious bigotry, or personal insecurities he exploited so vampirically for their ignorance as a viscous medium by which to breed hatred and fear at an exponential, shocking scale.
 
Stand in solidarity with those you love – if you were willing to fight against Trump on election day, stand and be willing to fight against him in all that you do for as long as he is in office and beyond.
 
 
If we show that man fear, let it be the fear of our innocent, if we show him anger, let it be the anger of the powerless.
 
Let our love speak the loudest, let it crack and topple the foundations of the very house in which he will sit if it must: watch him burn it to the ground and let its embers and poison smoke warm the cockles of the constituency if it comes to it. But let not our voice be a voice of hate. Let not our historic legacy be that we turned our backs in disgust at our fellow Americans and ran instead of addressing the conditions which led to this abominable decision.
 
Let the clamouring fervour of our call to arms be built upon our grace and the grace of our ancestors, for only in this will it stand as a monument to progress and to peaceful resistance.
 
Lay down your arms! Heed this instead as a call for Armistice, for improved education, for love, for patience, for social justice.
 
Abandon neither your passions nor your fervour, but act upon them with the intellect and decorum which will continue to be at such a high deficit in the months and years to come.
 
 
Make them hear you. Please don’t give up on each other, it’s all we have.
 
I love each and every one of you, even if we don’t speak. Please use this as an opportunity to reach out to people you rarely talk to – unite us through this.
 
I need you right now. We all do. Make them hear you.

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Published by

Caroline C. Evans Abbott

I am a rising Master of Research (M.Res) English Literature candidate at the University of Glasgow, incoming MFA Writing candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, and a recent Honors Program graduate of the B.A. Studio Art program at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut (2015). From 2015 - 2016, I served as an English, Writing, and Creative Enrichment Tutor for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a Native American Reservation in Brooks, California, and from 2014 - 2015 as a Writing Associate (Tutor) in the Albertus Magnus College Writing Center. I am a writer and photographer based in London.

6 thoughts on “A Call to Arms”

  1. We are all moving forward, but I will not move forward with racists and bigots if that is what you are asking. I am not moving forward without distain for the disrespect and dehumanization of different groups of people by the newly elected president. Please do not minimize the teardown of human rights fought for many, many years. There should be anger and sorrow about this. Let people grieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ve misinterpreted my intent. My goal in writing this is personal. To implore us to not allow our upset at bigotry to impede the ability of those who can enact change to move forward and to work to better educate them. This is not a justification of bigotry, nor an implication for the call for conciliatory behavior with those who are bigoted. I am not negating the value of grief, and the piece does not prevent anyone from doing so. I am trying to convey the ability of our grief to charge our movement forward, not allowing bigotry to slow us down. Cheers! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am remembering the power of love when I stand to fight against taking away civil rights, when I am reminding my children that no, electing a sexual predator is not right and I will stand against it. Love protects but it also corrects. Anger against tyranny, bigotry, prejudice, injustices is needed. Just be wise with it and use it to bring good changes rather than violence, hate, and apathy.

        Liked by 1 person

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